Blog 2


Nov 3, 2016

I spent a little time in the past week porting one of my blogs to Python using Django. If the website looks similar to these four blogs, it's because they are all the same codebase with a handful of tweaks to make it possible to unify them with my other blogs and journals. While they aren't all ported yet, I thought I'd write a quick blog to explain things. For a decade and a half, I've been blogging on a PHP website I wrote in 2002 for Javantea's Fate and improved over time. In 2011, I wrote a blog in Python with Django for my trip to Brasil. When I went to Mexico, I copied the blog and created a second database. When I bought j4va.com for fun and profit (not really), I first put up a copy of java.com with some interesting things in its place. Then when I wanted to turn it into a blog, I copied the Brasil blog and made a third database. Now that I finally want to unify my blogs, it makes perfect sense to simply use the same thing, but copy all the data from the all the blogs into a single database. It's so well-written, that I didn't really need a really bad intro page anymore. So now AltSci.com goes to that unified blog interface. There's a lot of logic that makes it happen, but I'll leave that unsaid.

Of all my travels, only one trip is not available on my unified blog. I decided to use MediaWiki for my Europe Blog and spammers destroyed that blog, so I don't have easy access to the data. Eventually I'll grab the data and post it to this blog. For now, the pictures and videos will do. You have to click on the videos to get them.

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Links

Sono.us: link shortener for the author
AltSci Network: sites by same author
AltSci Blog: Unified blog for Javantea. Search this blog and others by the same author

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Let's Encrypt

I have setup TLS for sono.us and www.cell-game.com using Let's Encrypt. Both certificates will expire January 25, 2016.

Instead of running letsencrypt with sudo privileges on my server, I ran letsencrypt-nosudo. According to Issue #5, this can be done using the official client as well. Because letsencrypt-nosudo was very short, I was able to modify it and vet it easily. There are weaknesses in any system, but the options are quite limited in this system. If you'd like my patch, let me know.

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Control

I thought I'd just write a few thoughts down and see where it goes. I'm having trouble writing down my thoughts. Apologies if I go too fast. I'm not in the mood to be patient.

First things first. I write a lot. My mother is a bibliophile. I am a scriptophile, I love to write. But I don't publish most of what I write. My graphic novel Javantea's Fate ground to a halt not long after it started, so I started a blog called "Making of JF" hoping to gain readership by writing keywords and drawing interesting things a few days per week. Years later very few pages of Javantea's Fate were finished, but 378 pages of Making of JF were done. That's a huge amount of writing. It was a very tough part of my life, so I'm glad that I have that corpus of writing to show what my mind was thinking. But I didn't post everything I wrote. The House MD episode "Private Lives" discussed a person who wrote down everything she was going through. I didn't do that back in 2001, but I was spending a few hours three days a week on it. I can't do that now because I signed a confidentiality contract with my previous employer and one of our clients. They went to bat for me and I owe them my current happy status but I also think that the past four years of not quite radio silence (comparatively) has warped my mind. Of course my mind was warped before I went to work in infosec, but the secrets I've kept have gnawed at me. It's the whole issue of doublethink straight from 1984. I am holding two contradicting truths to be true at the same time. Operational security is incredibly important, information should be made free. But information is power and with great power comes great responsibility. I am an irresponsible person. I don't believe in control.

Let's talk about control. There are more than a few theories on the human mind that talk about control and I'm not going to do them any justice explaining them right now. Let's say that my friend, let's call him Descartes for now says that human beings are incapable of moving. He's wrong, but let's say I'm so furious that I want to prove to him that human beings are capable of moving. So I tell him, if I am able to walk from my current position to one foot in front of you, then I can move and your statement is false. He replies, but how do you know you're moving and not changing my mind about what's going on? Occam's razor? Nope. Descartes isn't having it. So I think again. I am unable to reach out and touch you right now. If I am able to reach out and touch you, I must be able to move therefore your theory is wrong. Descartes is too smart for that. You can change my mind, so how do I know if you're actually touching me?

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